Marilyn's Life From East to West

Benefits/Pitfalls of Social Media in the Job Search
February 9, 2010, 8:53 pm
Filed under: PR Practicum 3711

Personally, I think that social media has done a world of wonders; not only for those involved in public relations, but also anyone in the work force.  Social media involves Twitter, Facebook, blogging, Linkedin, MySpace, etc.  I know I’m forgetting some but you get the idea.  At my age and in college almost everyone I know is involved in some sort of social media, mainly Facebook.  Nowadays parents and some grandparents are even getting hooked on Facebook, which is pretty neat.  My mom uses Facebook to try and get back in touch with her high school and college friends.  Social Media has basically become a revolution and its going to keep getting bigger!  It’s scary to think that one day my generation will be the people asking all the questions about new technology and not having a clue what it all means.

Benefits:  If social media is used properly, the benefits can be amazing and really helpful.

  • Employers can see how involved you are with social media- and today for many jobs that is a must!!!
  • Knowing how to use Twitter, Facebook, and blogs are important to many companies because they count on the young people to keep up with the trends and be able to help the company and keep them updated in that respect.
  • Social media can be a great way for employers to see some of your work and if you would fit in well with them
  • If they “Google” your name and a bunch of websites (positive that is) come up, that could make you look really good and standout
  • Showing you are involved in more than one network is a good indication that you will be very involved in work in more than one way
  • Each form of social media has its own benefit and the more involved you are- THE BETTER- because they each can help you stay connected in various ways
  • Google your own name and see what comes up.  If there is only a little bit that’s totally okay, there is always room for improvement.  The more involved you are the more you will have to show for it (literally).

Pitfalls: steer clear from these points because they just might make you lose that dream job

  • Don’t post inappropriate pictures on Facebook- this seems like common sense but employers look at Facebook to see a variety of things and if you don’t look professional then why even bother?  They are not going to be impressed with the giant beer in your hand.
  • Employers will also see your “status” on Facebook so try and keep it PG so they don’t think you are a party animal or totally irresponsible.
  • Unlike certain networks, Twitter is a site that employers can pretty much see everything you write.  Some people do protect their profile, but personally it seems like a small number, so make sure those comments are web appropriate.
  • Don’t post YouTube videos that could get you in trouble later on down the road
  • Minimize/exclude bad language
  • For the most part, employers have access to anything they want to know about you so to put it simply:  IF YOU WOULDN’T WANT YOUR PARENTS TO SEE IT- DON’T PUT IT ONLINE.

4 Comments so far
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I agree with your statement, “If you don’t want your parents to see it, don’t post it.” I feel as if a lot of students go off to college and go wild, posting all their pictures covering their wild nights in college on Facebook knowing that their parents would NEVER get a Facebook account and see those posted pictures. Now, not only is Facebook available to more than college students, but employers are also on Facebook or have employees/interns who are looking for information on prospective employees. If you would be embarrassed for your mom or dad to see the pictures or use of language posted, then maybe you should keep them in a private diary, not posted to the internet. (This is the post I meant to comment on …not your blog comments..OOPS!)

Comment by Jessica Cameron

[…] 5. Marilyn Lintel, Benefits/Pitfalls of Social Media in the Job Search […]

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“Don’t post inappropriate pictures on Facebook- this seems like common sense but employers look at Facebook to see a variety of things and if you don’t look professional then why even bother? They are not going to be impressed with the giant beer in your hand.” I’m glad you mentioned this because I hear a different horror story about people being turned down for positions because of their Facebook profiles every week. One of my friends that graduated last year gave my resume to his boss in order to set up an interview. I hadn’t heard from him in a while so I called to see if he agreed to schedule an interview. My friends said, “My boss said he couldn’t hire you because of your questionable Facebook pictures.” After a few minutes of talking I found out he was only joking. Either way, I got so paranoid after the conversation that I immediately edited my profile. Moral of the story: edit your profile!

Comment by Jeremy

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